We found a flat in Theoule-sur-Mer

As of yesterday we have secured a flat (insert lots of cheering and tears of joy). It’s in a town called Theoule-sur-Mer. Theoule is pronounced Tae-ool and sur-mer means “on the sea”). It’s a wonderful little beach village just west of Cannes. Our flat faces west towards some beautiful green hills dotted with beautiful old homes. Our front door opens to the ocean. It’s perfect!

It’s such a relief to finally find something where we didn’t have to compromise on budget or location. We actually visited this tiny town on our first day here and fell in love with it so it’s such a blessing that we ended up here.

The story of how we found this flat is a very, very long one. I’ll give you all a quick run down but I’ll spare you the nerve-racking details. First off, two days before we left San Diego we met a sweet older lady in the garage of our condo building. She was attempting to pack up her car because she was moving and needed to get on the road. However, because of the intense heat of the day she kept having nose bleeds and was having a really hard time. We stopped to help her and see if there was anything that we could do for her. We learned that she was moving to Bellingham, WA which is the town where Nate and I met and where most of our family and friends are! We talked with her for quite awhile and told her about our plans to move to France. She told us that she owns a flat in France that was currently sitting empty!! What are the chances? We talked to her for a long time but the subject of us possibly renting her flat never came up and she never offered. We didn’t want to be rude or too forward so we never asked her about it.

Skip forward 2 weeks– we’re stuck in France with no place to live and practically pulling our hair out at the frustrating process of it all. We decide to call the older lady with the flat and just see if she would be willing to let us rent her flat. After several voicemails and playing phone-tag Nate finally got ahold of her. She said that she would be willing to rent it to us (Yay!!) but that the flat is in disarray and quite messy. No biggie… I love to organize and clean.

One problem though– she doesn’t know who has the key to her flat! Maybe her daughter? Maybe her friend? And who has the key-fob to actually enter the building? It took almost a week to locate and receive the key. We still don’t have the key-fob to access the main building doors but thanks to a nice older gentleman, he’s letting us borrow his until we can get one from the management company.


Now the flat itself is great! Light and bright with a huge patio and even a small garden area. It’s 2-stories connected by a spiral staircase and is the perfect size for us, about 450 sqft. The downside is that it’s filled, and I mean filled, with trinkets and books and papers and art supplies and broken things and old furniture and lots and lots of dust. We have been given permission to move and reorganize the place so that’s the plan for tomorrow. We’ll take pictures of everything and then start packing it all into boxes to be stored. When we move out, we’ll just put everything back where we found it.

I think I’ll wait to post pictures until I clean and decorate it with our own stuff. It has a lot of potential and I think it’s gonna be a perfect little home for us. Thanks for all the well-wishes and good advice. It’s been great to have such wonderful friends.

Next problem: getting internet access out there.

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That’s really cool. I’m envious. Looking forward to seeing some pics. Good luck with Internet. I haven’t found too good of Internet connections in Europe aside from those lil’ Internet cafes.

Still jealous. However, i will just tell you how much i am enjoying japan. This concrete jungle has factories, smoke stacks, dirty port waters, and NO green grass that you might be obliged to roll in!!!
Actually Japan is pretty amazing but Nagoya is probably not the prettiest town that it has to offer. Nothing like Theoule-sur-mer.
Seriously, how long are you planning on being there? Susan and I were planning on passing back through europe before we return home. I’ve wanted to show Susan around grenoble and provence, so if you’re there, you better clear off 15 of your 450 sq ft floor and let us crash.
Love you guys. Glad to hear things are panning out.
Nate, get back to your french lesson.

It sounds like it’ll be a great place. I’ve always wanted to live in a flat somewhere, so I can’t wait to see pictures! Good luck with the cleaning and packing and storage. Can’t wait to hear more!!
Take Care kids :)

Hooray for you guys! Looking forward to photos.

Phelan: Thanks, we feel very blessed, that’s for sure. It was much more crazy than what Tilly wrote, but I think you get the idea. As for internet, we’re just going to wait it out. We’ll put in enough money for the year’s worth of internet access and that’s it. Unfortunately this process takes about a month to do (get a bank account, prove you are who you say you are and you live where you say you live, then get internet and wait for the hookup day). It could take as much as 2 months, but we’re hoping for the best.

Stevo: Dude, I really want to see Japan, so I hope you’re taking lots of pictures that you’ll share. Plus, you guys need to write more on your blog. You’re seriously slacking. I want to see and hear more about these places you and Susan talk about when you do write.

As for coming here, we will have a place for you to stay for you and Susan. Anytime. Ok, back to my french lessons. :)

Gretchen: It’s a great place, for sure. It’s funny because the more flats we saw here in France, the lower our expectations got. The States have much higher standards for living, but for the French, this place is pretty decent. It’s not a vacation resort or anything (which are much like the States in terms of quality and craftsmanship), but for a livable flat in the south of France… we’re not complaining. It’s wonderful.

Amber: Photos will be coming in about a week or possibly less depending on internet connectivity (which is going to be really tough, so bear with us).

Tills and Ritts- I’m so glad it all worked out with that lady! So perfs! That was definitely no coincidence :) I miss you both like crazy. Tills- we never got to go on a double date to Extraordinary Desserts. Next year, it’s on. Love you both!

Hi Nate & Tilly
Well talk about fate!? A great story! We’re moving to France in Sept from Australia & have so far been able to secure a furnished place nearby Grasse (Le Tignet) for Oct/Nov/Dec & am hoping we won’t have similar problems finding a place after that. We met a French couple on the w/end who recommended Theoule Sur Mer as a possible place to settle.. can you offer any insights on your home, are you still there or back in San Diego? My hubby is also American, been in Australia for 10 yrs now.
Thanks heaps!

Hi Liisa and Eric,

I hope you’re having fun in Grasse and Théoule. We miss it a ton.

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